A New Era Dawns

19 Jul 2022 | 17 comments

Blues Trust

After a roller coaster summer of claim and counter claim, news broke earlier today that a consortium including Blues fan Paul Richardson and Argentine footballer Maxi Lopez has exchanged contracts to purchase St. Andrew’s and take a 21.64% stake in the club. Blues Trust understands there is an agreement in place that gives the consortium managerial control of the club and the ability to complete the acquisition of the whole club over the next couple of years.

Completion is subject to the relevant individuals from the consortium passing the owners and directors test and to any due diligence. The Trust has written to the EFL to ask if it is now processing an application from Birmingham City Football Club regarding a change in control. We await a reply.

Blues Trust understands that the consortium will be taking charge of day‑to‑day decision making at the club once the deal is completed, even though the initial ownership is of only 21.64% of the club.

Assuming this proceeds, Blues Trust welcomes an end to the uncertainty that has bedevilled the club during the close season, and also welcomes what appears to be the beginning of the end for the BSHL/ORI ownership of the club. Whilst it is concerning that BSHL still owns 75%, the consortium clearly believes that it has an agreement to complete a full takeover over time. The faster this happens, and the more visibility there is surrounding it, the better.

Whilst waiting for a full takeover to complete, it is important that in this first stage the club is not left in limbo and Blues Trust is looking for three key things from the prospective new owners during this period:

  • firstly, that there is an end to the uncertainty on the stand repairs with a clear plan and timescales visible to fans in the next few weeks;
  • secondly, that the new head coach is backed in the remainder of the current transfer window to maximise our chances of being competitive in the Championship this season;
  • and finally, that the consortium engages meaningfully with the fans along the lines outlined in the Fan-led Review. There has never been any regular fan engagement under BSHL, with the club often failing to do even the minimum required. The Trust will be contacting the club in the coming days to press this point.

Blues Trust believes, as it has for a long time, that the future of the club is best served by having a proper long-term plan in place which seeks to develop the team and infrastructure in a way the owners can sustain and is visible to the fans.

The Trust urges the prospective new owners to embrace such a plan and be open as to what their intentions are.

Hopefully, the news breaking today heralds a new start for the club. It’s not an ideal situation of course, with BHSL still owning 75%. But it looks like a significant step in the right direction. Blues Trust looks to the potential new owners to show that they have the best interests of the club at heart, not only by seeking to complete a full takeover at the earliest opportunity but also by demonstrating clearly they are engaging with the fans and have a long‑term plan for success.

Blues Trust congratulates Paul Richardson, Maxi Lopez and their consortium in taking charge at Birmingham City, a club with massive potential, and wishes them good fortune and every success going forward.

Blues Trust

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17 Comments

  1. Ed Truman

    Could it really be that we are about to turn a corner…?

    Well said Blues Trust. I echo the sentiments expressed even though I’m sure there will be more twists and turns along the way. But it does indeed feel like a big step in the right direction.

    Particularly good to hear Richardson talk about openness and transparency when he spoke on talkSPORT radio this morning. What a change that would be!

    Reply
  2. Mark R

    This is indeed welcome news.
    I guess we can’t ‘count our chickens’ until this deal is formally concluded.
    Wasn’t it only last week the EFL wrote back to us confirming they’d had no approaches regarding a change of ownership at BCFC, so it’ll be interesting to see what they come back with following your latest enquiry?
    But yes, as Ed mentions we could finally be turning a corner, and this could be the start of a journey back to the Prem, though we are all aware this will take time!
    In the here and now, we have a lot of talented young players, some of whom have the potential to be top players-Hall, Bellingham, James, Gordon and Stirk to name but 5-and we have a young, energetic Head Coach who is working diligently at making us a more dynamic, high pressing, ‘in your face’, competitive side.
    As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons we love football so much is that it is unpredictable, nothing stays the same, and Blues will be back!!
    Let’s make St Andrews a hostile place for the opposition again come the new season, even from a high vantage point(!) and get right behind the Blue Boys!
    KRO

    Reply
    • Spence

      Let’s hope they keep Ian Dutton and not bring in this Southall who has a chequered past

      Reply
  3. Peter Bates

    I hope manager gets a good crack at it seems a footballing sort of person so good luck to him what I would like to hear is what the plans are warts and all all blues fans want is the truth black and white no glossing over anything don’t want to listen to wild promise’s tell us how it is finally welcome gents and kro

    Reply
  4. Mitchell

    Great news and very welcome. Blues Trust have pushed hard for the supporters and I, for one, will always be grateful.

    Reply
  5. David Cottrill

    What wonderful news,I am afraid the Chinese connection has been a disaster, if the new consortium really do have day to day control it is the most optimistic I have been for our club in years, and as a fan of 65 years I wish you the very best of luck

    Reply
  6. David Morrish

    Assuming that it all comes to fruition this is tremendous news. And thank you Blues Trust for keeping us up to speed with developments.
    It really does feel like a new dawn at long last.

    Reply
  7. Simon Tarling

    I think this is great news especially with Richardson being a Brummie.
    I do have a question tho, is the deal of £35/£40m for the whole club or just the 21.6% they are buying now?

    Reply
  8. Simon Tarling

    Is the price for the whole club £35-40m or just the 21% they are buying now

    Reply
    • cliff

      my understanding is the 35/40 M is for the whole club – whilst Richardson is not disclosing the exact amount he said in an interview the figures quoted on social media are pretty accurate. I think the first payment for the ground and 21% is in the region of £25M – then rest is instalments as shares transfer over the two and a half years

      Reply
  9. Dave Smith

    I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments shown by the trust. I have been supporting the Blues since 1968 and many times I have heard the phrase “A club with huge potential”. This statement is true, but now, more than ever, we need someone who will actually realise that potential.
    We are at a critical point in our history. If we do things right, even if the changes are small step changes, we need to embed them and make clear progress. I am confident that the fans will return in their masses if we have a club with a vision for success, a team to deliver it and a stadium to be proud of.
    However, if we don’t get it right this time, the outcome doesn’t bear thinking about.
    Best of Luck Paul, Maxi and your team – support us and we will support you. KRO.

    Reply
  10. Stan Moye

    Finally, Finally we all have genuine hope and optimism that a brighter future is on the horizon. I feel Maxi and especially Paul being a Bluenose, will understand the importance of engaging and informing the fans with honest dialogue. So a huge “Thank you” for not only rescuing our club, but for putting a smile back on our faces. Let’s all move forward together, can’t wait for our first home game, the atmosphere will be bouncing. Finally l hope a role in the management team can be found for Ian Dutton who absolutely did his best to steady the ship in difficult circumstances.

    Reply
  11. Ronald clive

    Ron Clive. Great news now we can push on with our plans i would like the Chinese owners to put up shares for sale for the fans as minister Tracy crouch wants to it to happen.kro

    Reply
  12. Rita

    A move in the right direction. I just hope that the complete takeover will happen in my lifetime. I’ve been a supporter since 1956 and seen many ups and downs but this really does look promising. Thank you Blues Trust for keeping us all well informed. Good luck Maxi & Paul, KRO

    Reply
  13. G. Bates

    Would have preferred a full takeover but anything is better than the fruitcase Bassini, whatever happens with these new lot we can’t say, but at least we will own the ground again, what finances we have is again anybodys guess, obviously I am disappointed like many that the Chinese are still here but hopefully sooner rather than later they will be gone.

    Reply
  14. Eamon Cavanagh

    Good luck to Paul Richardson and Maxi Lopez.
    Not ideal the deal you have had to work with but hopefully the the beginning of good times ahead. KRO

    Reply
  15. Brian Salisbury

    Thank you Blues Trust for keeping us informed and making representations on our behalf. As an active volunteer body you as always are the true voice of the supporters. Although early days the partial takeover seems to be a step in the right direction however as always time will tell. The only bad news seems to be the suggested appointment of the new CEO who appears to have a chequered past. Given that the EFL will be involved in considering the ownership bid I wonder if that includes the CEO appointment. Hopefully ownership of the ground will be included in the deal it’s a pity that it couldn’t be put in the hands of the Trust for future safe keeping.

    Reply

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